Sometimes, life throws us curveballs. If you are in the middle of your academic career and decide that Korea is the place for you, good news! You might be able to transfer to a university in Korea. Attending university in Korea will leave you with amazing experiences, and it might actually be a way to cut your costs if you are coming from a country where school fees are expensive, like the United States. Let’s start our Korean adventure and transfer to a university in Korea!
So today I am helping you on your quest to study at Korea University. I am a transfer student myself. So, I will only speak from my experience and help you as much as I can. I transferred to Korea University in Seoul so I will be focusing on their transfer application. However, other universities in Korea that regularly recruit international students have similar transfer opportunities. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Find Your Dream Transfer Destination
Okay, this may sound lame, but let me explain. Korea has a lot of good universities. And, same as in other countries, you’ll find universities that are more specialized in some areas than others. Then, there are universities that are more foreigner-friendly than others. And finally, there are more prestigious universities, whose names come with a wow factor. So, the first thing you have to do is find which university suits you best.
For me, as a biotechnology student, a University with good prospects in research and technology development was the main priority. But, since I am very self-disciplined and enjoy challenging myself, I opted for Korea University.
Korea University (KU for short) belongs to the top 3 undergraduate educational institutions, informally called the SKY trio.
S stands for Seoul National University.
K stands for Korea University
Y stands for Yonsei University.
Essentially, these three universities are the ivy leagues of the Korean education system. If you are okay with a heavy workload these are some of the best universities to attend when considering future opportunities.
Step 2: Read Everything You Can!
And I mean it, read a lot. There’s a lot of information you to understand regarding the procedures needed for you to transfer no matter the university. Not only do you need to take into consideration university policies, but also immigration policies. If there is any information you can’t seem to find, always look for the International Department’s email.
In my quest to find the best university that would fit my standards and that would prepare me to be the best I can be, I emailed a bunch of Korean universities. Most of them, if not all, have an email or phone number you can contact with all your concerns, so make use of it! Making the right decision is extremely important! Not only are you entrusting them with the future of your education, but also your legal status in Korea.
On the university’s web page you will be able to find deadlines, language proficiency standards, and documents needed for your application. You can also look at blogs and social media to find current students to ask them about their experiences. Rember that universities in Korea are huge, and departments often function independently. So, it is important to find people with experience in your intended major.
Step 3: Make Yourself Comfortable with Web Pages
This may seem like an odd step. However, Korean university webpages often aren’t as intuitive as the sites you are used to. In general, Korean sites follow different layouts than western sites. And, due to language barriers, wording can be a bit difficult to understand.
Let’s look at KU’s homepage. You can go there by Clicking Here.
Now, if you click on ‘Admissions’ a drop-down list will appear. I am an undergraduate student. So, I clicked ‘Undergraduate Admissions’.
Here you can find information related to admission requirements and majors at the university.
Next, let’s take a look at the Office of International Affairs’ web page, which you can access by Clicking Here.
Here’s so much info! You will find the deadlines and all of the details you’ll need. Right now, the guidelines related to transferring to Korea University are being updated. So, you should email them for details. Additionally, as you can see, the English is a little awkward and difficult to understand. So, it is sometimes best to copy the Korean and paste it into a translation app.
4. Make Sure the Curriculum is a Fit
You will most definitely need the syllabus for all the courses you’ve taken, your school transcript, and a letter of recommendation (I got two just in case, so if you can get more than one, it’s best). These are the basic documents you will need to transfer schools in Korea.
It’s very probable that you won’t know which credits will be validated once you are enrolled in a university in Korea. However, you can get an idea by looking at the courses in your desired major at a university in Korea. Also, be aware that at most universities in Korea, you can only transfer two years’ worth of credits. However, in some cases, you can transfer into your third year.
5. Check the Language Requirements
Make sure you fulfill the language requirements for Korean universities. Some departments require English tests, some offer English courses, and some don’t. Mine did offer English courses and required an English score, so I took the TOEFL test. If you are taking courses in English, chances are you will need to take an English test before your enrollment fee is due.
Plus, many departments also require a Korean langue score or a certain level of proficiency by graduation. If you don’t meet the requirements, you can always take a year of intensive Korean Language in the Language Center, and then apply to transfer to a Korean university. Some of my friends did so, and they have been able to get the TOPIK level required for their majors. Some departments also take the Language Center Certificate for level 3 or above, so you don’t have to take the TOPIK in some cases.
Once you have found your university, a program that matches your previous education, and fulfill the language requirements, the rest is simple. You simply submit your documents and wait to hear back. As a lot of universities in Korea want to increase their number of international students, chances are, if you apply to a range of universities you’ll get into one. I really hope this has helped you! You will transfer to a university in Korea in no time!
If you don’t meet the Korean language requirement to transfer into your desired program, no worries! At Geumgang University, you can attend Korean language school for free. Click Here to learn more.